Month of O-Hanami

April 2024: Enjoy Japanese Culture under the Cherry Blossoms - programs taking place all month long.

Welcome to the Month of O-Hanami, a cultural celebration that captures the essence of Japan's cherry blossom season. Stroll under the blooming blossoms and enjoy a series of Japanese cultural programs throughout the month of April. The shop and Karasawa Gallery will open on Sunday, April 28.

Hanami (lit. 花見, "flower viewing") is the Japanese tradition of viewing cherry blossoms and appreciating their transient beauty in the spring.

Bonsai Spring Sale & Show

Friday, April 5, 12:00-5:00pm
Saturday, April 6, 10:00am-5:00pm

The Nikkei Bonsai Society  presents a display of award-winning bonsai as well as interactive bonsai demonstrations involving the styling and wiring of bonsai trees. Bonsai trees in development as well as pots and tools will be available for purchase. Demonstrations and Q&A are ongoing throughout the day.

Free admission. Location: Ellipse Lobby (1F).

Sakura Bento

Saturday, April 6

Sakura Bento are now sold out as of March 28.

We are planning a special cherry blossom themed lunch box crafted in partnership with the Robert Nimi Nikkei Home. By purchasing the Sakura Bento, you will be supporting both the Nikkei Home and the Nikkei Centre. Weather permitting, there will be tents in the Nikkei Garden to enjoy O-Hanami style. Limited quantity: 50.

Menu: Gomoku Chirasizushi (mixed rice), Karaage chicken, Tamago yaki (egg omelet), Deep fried prawn, Tsukune (chicken & beef meatball), Nishime (stewed vegetables: bamboo shoot, carrot, shiitake, konnyaku, taro), Tsukemono (pickles), Sakura-mochi (seasonal dessert made for cherry blossom viewing).

Sakura Bento will be available for pick up from 12:00-2:00pm, on Saturday, April 6.

Fee: $28 + GST

Shogi Meetups

Saturday, April 6

Stretch your brain and make friends with the classic Japanese strategy game. No pre-registrations necessary, drop in and join anytime.  Find out about monthly Shogi Meetups.

Fee: Free for Members, $5 for general admission. Location: Tsubaki Room (2F).

Aikido Showcase

Saturday, April 6

Witness the martial prowess of Aikido practitioners up-close.  Find out about Aikido classes at Nikkei Centre.

Free showcase. Location: Budojo (1F).

Utensils for an urasenke tea ceremony

Public Tea Ceremonies

Saturday, April 6

Participants will have the opportunity to experience a seasonal Japanese tea ceremony presented by the Urasenke Tankokai Vancouver Association. Ticket holders will be served matcha tea and okashi (sweets) in our tea room. Guests are seated on chairs or invited to sit on tatami. Reservations are recommended. Walk-ins are welcome, but space is limited.

Fee: $15 + GST. Location: Tatami Room (2F).


Sakura Temari Workshops

Saturday, April 13
10:00AM-12:30PM & 2:00-4:30PM

Learn how to make your own cherry blossom design temari by hand. Perfect for beginners and craft enthusiasts, adding a touch of charm to your room or serving as a delightful gift. Select from three base colours to personalize your creation.

Instructor: Asami Kusakabe
日本てまりの会 師範 (Shihan)
Master, Japan Temari Association

Fee: $35 + GST. Location: Matsu Room (2F).

Sold Out.

Iaido Showcase

Saturday, Apr 13

Iaido practitioners will present a demonstration of their artform, with a Q&A and a chance to look at their equipment up close. Find out about Iaido classes at Nikkei Centre.

Free showcase. Location: Hayashi Hall (1F). 


Anime Evolution's Harumatsuri

Saturday, April 20

Enjoy a day of Japanese culture, anime, manga, gaming, and more. Visit Anime Evolution's website for details. Tickets will be $20, and can be purchased at the door.

Location: Nikkei Centre wide.


Sogetsu Ikebana

Saturday, April 27

Create a beautiful flower arrangement alongside your friend, family member, partner - or by yourself! - and celebrate well-being through the art of ikebana. Instructor Yoko Masuda provides a space to enjoy the moment and reconnect with a part of nature this O-Hanami. Create and express yourself whilst learning the fundamental principles of the Sogetsu school of ikebana. Sure to be an enjoyable activity for two.

Fee: $40 + GST. Location: Intergenerational Room (1F).

Sold Out.

Kimono Dressing Demo

Saturday, April 27

Skilled assistants, under the guidance of Fumiko Horan (kimono technician for Shōgun) will artfully dress models in kimono. Photos are welcome.

Free admission. Location: Ellipse Lobby (1F).

Small furoshiki wrapping cloth wrapped around a box with a cat pattern printed on it

The Art of Furoshiki

Saturday, April 27

Learn techniques for wrapping and folding with furoshiki, traditional Japanese wrapping cloths. Whether you're a beginner or have some furoshiki experience, this workshop is designed with everyone in mind. Fumiko Horan's skilled assistants will guide you through each step, ensuring you feel confident and inspired. Bring your own furoshiki, borrow one of ours, or purchase one from the museum gift shop.

Fee: $10 drop-in. Location: Matsu Room (2F).


Saturday, April 27

Combine traditional Samurai sword training (Kenjutsu) with the beauty of form. Learn basic etiquette, greetings, how to hold the sword properly, correct posture, and suburi (sword swings).

Fee: $20 + GST. Location: Hayashi Hall (1F).

Shop and Karasawa Gallery open Sunday, April 28

Presented by Dōjin Arts

Kumiko (Incense) Ceremony

Sakura-themed Kumikō (Incense Ceremonies)

Sunday, April 28
11:00am-12:30pm & 2:30-4:00pm

Dōjin Arts is pleased to present an opportunity to engage your senses while learning about kōdō, the Japanese Way of Incense. Join us for a sakura-themed kumikō (incense appreciation exercise), where we will experience and compare several types of highly fragrant woods in a game that incorporates seasonal and literary references.Led by Hitomi (Tōkō) Ginnan of the Senzan Goryu school, these sessions will be held in the ryūrei 立礼 style -- seated at long tables rather than on tatami mats -- and are suitable for those brand new to kōdō as well as experienced kumikō guests.

Fee: $35 + GST. Location: Matsu Room (2F).

Sakura-mochi/Wagashi workshops

Sunday, April 28
11:00am-12:30pm & 2:30-4:00pm

In this wagashi-making workshop led by Sen Sakamoto of Kintoki Sweets, participants will learn to make two types of sakura-mochi enjoyed in the spring o-hanami season. Open to all skill levels.

Fee: $35 + GST. Location: Community Kitchen (1F).

Sold Out.

Cherry Blossoms in the Visual, Poetic, and Performing Arts of Japan by Maiko Behr

Sunday, April 28

Dive into the world of sakura, one of Japan's most beloved symbols, and gain a deeper understanding of how cherry blossoms have been depicted and celebrated across different art forms in Japan. In this densely illustrated slide lecture, Maiko Behr (Japanese traditional arts specialist and Founder/Executive Director of The Dōjin Japanese Arts Society 同仁文化会) will share insights into the cultural significance of sakura and its role in shaping Japanese aesthetics and sensibilities.

Free admission. Registration Not Required.  Location: Intergenerational Room (1F).

Note: Tickets for pre-registered workshops are limited. It is recommended to book your ticket(s) early to avoid disappointment.

The following workshops do not require pre-registration. Drop-in and join:

  • KIZUNA Japanese Arts & Crafts - Weekly on Saturday mornings from 9:20-10:20am
  • Shogi Meetups - Sat, April 6 (10am-12pm~)
  • The Art of Furoshiki - Sat, April 27 (2pm-3pm)
  • Cherry Blossoms in the Visual, Poetic, and Performing Arts of Japan - Sun, April 28 (1pm-2pm)